A Mommy Blog About Raising Men, Not Boys.

Saturday, January 31, 2009


Salad Snuff for Dinner Theater?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

In Celebration of a Life Well Lived

I spend a quiet moment before I head off to sleep......to share with you this.....
There was once was a woman who would put my socks and nightgown on the register to warm up on cold winter nights, before I went to bed. She would make scrambled eggs with cheese and crumbled bacon on top for breakfast, if you spent the night - which you most likely ate before you got dressed for church.
She had a collection of ceramic turtles, and of Hummels- which came directly from Germany during the War.
She was funny and silly, and wonderful to be near when you were a child. And when you were an adult as well.
Her own daughter is my mother's best friend, and the only person my mother would let hold me when I was a newborn.

She was, and is in my heart, a grandmother in my life.

Tomorrow they will bury her, and I cannot be there. Distance and finance make it impossible.

But it doesn't really matter. Because I was there for what mattered.

Her life.

My Aunt wrote her one of the best obituaries I've ever read. I hope you read it. And I hope that when I die, someone will take so much care to remember who I was and what I did.

Mildred F. Garrigus Oaks, age 89 of Franklin passed away peacefully with family at her side at 3:10 p.m. on Friday, January 23rd, 2009 at the Franklin United Methodist Community. Born April 18, 1919 in Clay County to Lawrence and Ora West Garrigus, she was the 8th of 10 children. Mildred married Merrill G. Oaks in Edinburgh, Indiana on December 29, 1943. They renewed their vows on their 50th wedding anniversary in 1993. She is survived by her husband of sixty-five years, Merrill; daughter Suzie of Richmond; son Stephen (Brenda) of Franklin; grandchildren, Heath, Rachel and Michael of Franklin, and Kyle of Wooster, Ohio; step-granddaughter, Stephanie (Darren) Deeter of Franklin; great-granddaughter, Lillian Marie Oaks and step-great- grandsons, Austin and Bronson Deeter. She is also survived by a sister-in-law, Alta Garrigus of Charlotte, North Carolina and twenty-two nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents; brothers, Ralph, Gene, Earl, Arthur and Ernest; and sisters, Lucille, Margaret, Anna May and Lillian. She was a 1937 graduate of Brazil High School and received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education from Butler University in 1941. Mildred taught at IPS from 1941 to January, 1944. She and Merrill lived in Austin, Texas until June, 1944, when he was sent overseas. She returned to Indianapolis and worked in the Butler University Library until February, 1946, when Merrill was discharged from the Army. They moved to Franklin where they resided in their home on Central Avenue for the next sixty-one years. They moved into the Franklin United Methodist Home in October, 2007 where they were lovingly cared for. Mildred retired from Nineveh- Hensley-Jackson School Corporation in 1981 after twenty years of teaching second, third and fourth grades. Mildred was a Cub Scout den mother for three years and a Girl Scout leader and council member for eighteen years. She was a member of Tabernacle Christian Church in Franklin where she taught Sunday School for many years and was an active participant in the Hilltop women's group. She was also a leader for Christian Endeavor and served as a Deaconess and Elder for many years. Mildred and Merrill delivered Meals on Wheels and took audio tapes to church shut-ins which she helped start. Mildred was a former member of Delta Kappa Gamma, an international society of women educators, a member of Indiana State Retired Teachers Association, Johnson County Retired Teachers Association, Girl Scouts of America, Franklin Chapter, No. 439, Order of Eastern Star, Johnson County Democrat Women and Johnson County Shrine Club Ladies Auxiliary. Mildred enjoyed quilting, cooking, reading, and the time spent with friends and family especially her grandchildren. She was a devoted wife and loving mother and grandmother. A service will be conducted on Wednesday, January 28, 2009 at 10:30 a.m. at Flinn and Maguire Funeral Home, 2898 North Morton Street, (U.S. 31 North) in Franklin. Friends may call on Tuesday, January 27, 2009 from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the funeral home. An Eastern Star service will be conducted on Tuesday evening at 7:30 p.m. by the Franklin Eastern Star Chapter No. 439 at the funeral home. Interment will be at Greenlawn Cemetery in Franklin. Memorial contributions may be made to Tabernacle Christian Church, 198 North Water Street, Franklin, Indiana 46131; American Heart Association, 6100 W. 96th Street, Suite 200, Indianapolis, Indiana 46278; Alzheimer's Association, Greater Indiana Chapter, 50 E.l 91st Street, Suite 100, Indianapolis, Indiana 46240 or the charity of donor's choice.

Bye Millie.

We love you.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Who Knew?

Props to Kesseret for posting this to plurk first.

Who knew this is what the internet is for?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Pop Culture Can Skew History

Two Conversations:

  1. The Boy - Did you know the Death Star was also a shopping mall? I saw it on Robot Chicken, it had a food court..........

  2. The Boy -That guy that plays James Bond (Sean Connery) looks like that one guy, you know, the one with the Playhouse show?

- Me - You mean, PEEWEE HERMAN?

- The Boy - Yeah, he looks like Peewee Herman.

Ummm, okay......

Saturday, January 24, 2009

What a Difference a Doctor Can Make

My friend Michele commented to me last night that I must've been really busy because I hadn't posted in a week.
I think I was pre-occupied.
The twins had their evaluation with our new superfly pediatrician. The entire process took over TWO hours...which is most likely the longest any medical professional EVER looked at them. We sat and talked about what they can and what they cannot do and she made like a bazillion notes.
We've got the paperwork for the testing via the school system now, but more importantly we've got a doctor who wants to aggressivly pursue medical diagnosis and therapy.
She even said she'd call me back with doctors for referrals, doctors who TAKE our insurance.
The tact she says she's going to take is that because HMOs don't LIKE autism as a diagnosis, we have to come at this with every MEDICAL possibility in order to get them diagnosed and make insurance pay for treatment.
So we're gonna see all kinda specialists, all of whom will just happen to have experience with autism in addition to being, oh say, an ENT, or an Audiologist, or say, a psychologist etc.

She's also recommended doing the thing where you remove all gluten, wheat and dairy from their diet. She was pretty honest that all doctors aren't in agreement WHY it works, but that in MANY instances there has been improvement in communication skills.

So we have to figure that out.

Are they autistic? Maybe. Probably. All signs point to yes, we have a developmental delay that seems to lean toward the autism spectrum.

But I think, now, for the first time in a long time, that we're going to be alright. Because we've got a new doctor who doesn't fuck around, and she's going to help us walk down this path.

Thank God.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

A Venetian Masquerade

My husband and I had a DATE LAST NIGHT!

That's RIGHT! We got a sitter and went out. It was a fantastic Venetian Masquerade party with delicious food, wonderful wine (we discovered Prosecco - YUMM! We liked it so much we ran off to the LQ on our way home to get another bottle).

Ok I'm making a crazy face in that one, I have no idea what's going on. I don't even care. We danced the night away and it was fantastically romantic.

Having a wonderful romantic date with someone you're already in love with is the best thing in the whole world.

We also had the best freaking babysitter EVER, the kids loved her and I never even once really WORRIED because I know her and know how smart and great she is. THANK YOU EMMA!

It was wonderful to leave them in the hands of a good friend, and know that everything was going to be ok!

How'd the kids do, with a baby sitter? Well when we got home, they looked like this.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Case of the Mike & Ikes

Dateline Atlanta GA
There was about 1/4 box of Mike and Ike's on the kitchen counter last week when suddenly the box disappeared. No ransom note was sent out for it's return, nor was there any evidence left behind at the scene of the crime.
The only corresponding information this bureau has is this.
  • A set of fraternal boy/boy twins was seen divvying up small pieces of brightly colored candy, covertly.
  • Said candy was eaten inconspicuously and secretly. (not so secretly)
  • The box of Mike and Ike's mysteriously return to it's spot in the kitchen.........EMPTY!

Anyone with information regarding the disappearance of this candy confection, should please contact the bureau.

Cuz I love Mike and Ikes!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Somebody Elses Baby

I held somebody elses baby today. And it sort of pissed me off.
Which is jerkwad-ish of me......maybe it just made me sad.

I just felt that hole created in November in my life. That hole that was supposed to be a baby. Not like we bought anything, or started painting a nursery or anything stupid like that.

It's just that.....my mind had got to wandering, in those baby places. The soft blankets, and the pajamas legs that snap, and the formula that stains......I had slipped back into the comfort of those things, when they were all snapped back out from under me.

"Not viable."

Of course, I'm educated. I do understand that there never WAS a baby. In fact, it was just some cells with bad recombinant DNA that never specialized - never turned into a human. It tests positive on ye old home pregnancy test because it starts out as ovum and sperm, and it fertilizes like a zygote should and then it all just goes to hell.

So, I get it. I didn't lose anything because I didn't have anything but some seriously physical discomfort.

But when I was holding that baby dressed in pink and chocolate polka dots today, you would've sworn it was otherwise the way my heart ached and the way that hole blew open in it. A gap where someone else was supposed to be loved sits open. I wonder what happens now?

Will it close? Will I always feel this way?

How You Know the Puke is Extensive

When your husband (cleaning up the puke) says "I'm gonna need the 409.......and a butter knife."


Stomach Flu has arrived.

Friday, January 09, 2009

48 Hours of eBay Customer Service - 180 Degrees of Satisfaction

In the last 48 hours I've had both the worst and the best service experience with eBay.

My company is having a Venetian Carnivale Masked ball in a week - and I need a cocktail or formal gown. My friend Cajsa suggested I check out eBay. I did some poking around - saw some interesting things (who knew they had clothes on eBay dude it's been too long) and so I decided to log in to watch some of them.

After all - one might be a winner.

I log in with my eBay sign on (surprisingly I remembered it - I knew it'd been FOREVER since I used it-translate=years) but when I logged in I got this wonky message.

"Your account has been deactivated due to inactivity. Click here and we'll call the phone number on your account file to verify your identity."

Umm, I don't know what number is on file but it isn't this one - so - I click the OTHER option to get a csr - a CHAT CSR which, if you are in the field you know is either one of the best or the worst in the room - depending on the culture.

THAT conversation went like this.

  • CSR - Hi I'd be glad to help you can you verify the address as it appears on your account?

  • ME - No I can't see my acct obviously - I don't know what is on it. It's been a long time. Here, it might be my Indianapolis address which was XXXXX.

  • CSR - Nope, I'm sorry that isn't the address. I have one in Tampa.......

  • ME - Oh, ok, then here is my Tampa address.........

  • CSR - Great. That's the correct address. Now I just need to CALL you at the number on file....

  • ME -Ummm, no, you can't do that - I haven't LIVED there in two years. That is why I'm contacting you.

  • CSR - Oh......well then you'll just have to get a new account.

  • ME - I don't want to get a new account. I want to use my account. Isn't there anything you can do - I can VERIFY all the Tampa but I haven't had that phone number in two years.

  • CSR - Well you could send me over a faxed copy of a current utility bill from that address.

  • ME -What? If I haven't lived there in two years, why would I have a utility bill? That doesn't make sense.

  • CSR - Yeah I'm sorry you'll just want to open a new account.

  • ME -So I have to open a new account because you can't just verify my info by making a phone call to a number I haven't had in two years?
  • CSR -Yes - I'd just open a new account.


So today I TRIED. Guess what. I'm not ABLE to open a new account as my email address all tied up in the account that fucktard wouldn't open for me. So I go BACK into a chat session.

  • ME -Hi (explains entire previous conversation) and can't open my account now and I want to use my SAME Account. Can you help me?
  • CSR - Yes - just verify your account info for me at the Tampa address.
  • ME - I do so.
  • CSR -Please hold while I unlock your account.
  • ME -I wait
  • CSR -Thanks so much, you are unlocked! Welcome back to eBay!

Good God. Should it BE this hard? It's NOT Fort Knox people! National Security secrets are not traded on eBay.

Train your CSRs better eBay. You look like a bunch of chumps when your team can only spit out canned responses and can't actually solve problems.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

11 Years Ago Yesterday...(okay 8 Years Ago I can't Count)

...I stood idly picking my nail polish off, on a stalled Monorail between Epcot and the transportation center. I had taken a lot of care to be all pretty and girly that long weekend - applying more lipstick and freshening up each time we stopped by a ladies room. I made sure that my nails were done and totally cute - I can assure you.

So it was just an old habit....idly picking my nail polish off. Left over from teenage years like twisting my hair when a boy I liked came around - I didn't even think twice.

And when he looked over at me, gasped and said,"YOUR HANDS! YOUR NAILS! AH! What are you doing?" I just mumbled "I dunno." and thought that would be it.

But he stammered, and mumbled........about how nice my hands had looked, how beautiful my manicure was.....and said,"But you'll be sorry your nails weren't done........"

Now, that SHOULD have been a clue - don't you think?

But it wasn't...........and the next morning, when my feet were screaming from too much theme park and he insisted that we get to Magic Kingdom early, and that we run STRAIGHT AWAY to get mouse ears.......and that we HAD to get to the front of the castle and get our picture taken........well......

I dunno. I just thought "Wow, he's really getting on board with this whole touristy picture taking thing!"

And then the barbershop quartet came over, which seemed odd, and said they wanted to be in our picture. Which also was odd.

And then he did THIS.........

He chose Elvis's birthday so that we would always remember what day it was! So Happy Birthday To You Elvis! It's one of the Happiest Days of My Life.

And here, from Spinner - the 30 Coolest Things About Elvis.

And just remember - everything will change. But Love Remains the Same.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

New Years Eve Hot Tub Party

OR, something like that.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

So Where Is YOUR Second Furnace?

So we've had this issue for a few days. Downstairs the furnace is blowing cold air. Upstairs, toasty warm air spews forth. But downstairs - in the living, dining kitchen world........COLD AIR.
Perplexed, we went into the attic to take a look at the furnace.
Cuz we're homeowners now, and that is what you do. You walk up to to that furnace and you........

Look at it.

What we gleaned, was that the pilot light was on. Which was GOOD. The husband took the panel off, and we turned on the heat and watched the panel light up the way the book says it's supposed to.

So now what?

So we've been cold, and building fires in the fire place, and perplexed and annoyed - not sure what we're supposed to DO other than call an HVAC guy which is gonna be expensive.

Well then, at work, I'm telling my boss. And he says to me "Did you check your second furnace?" To which, I being a reasonable person, said "WHAT SECOND FURNACE?"

Then he proceeds to tell me that in GA - they put in a furnace FOR EACH FLOOR OF THE HOUSE. WHAT SORT OF MADNESS IS THIS?
We do not live in the arctic circle, requiring TWO massive heat sources to warm us from the freezing northern winds. We live in GEORGIA.

I call the husband at home, he pops off the cold air return downstairs - and the pipe goes DOWN.
Under our house,

Into our Crawl Space.

You heard me, they put our "second furnace" in our CRAWL SPACE.

Because it's so easy to change filters and other things, when something is in your CRAWL SPACE.

When I got home from work, he was the MAN of the family and shimmied across the length of our house TO the said second furnace, but because of where it is located and how small the area is - we were only able to confirm that YES, it is a furnace.

HVAC guy - have fun.

Until you get here, it's all Little House on the Prairie here - I got up this morning and gathered pine cones to get the fire going downstairs.

Think about this, last night I talked to people from Portland, Kentucky, Italy, Hong Kong and Japan online - and then this morning I GATHERED PINE CONES TO START A FIRE TO HEAT MY HOUSE.